Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it all!

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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Prisni »

harsi wrote:Now you may ask what has all this to do with the controversial issue under discussion here among Prisni and Nanda-grama. The 'accusation' made that "Vishnupada" has "fallen down"
I have no controversy with anyone on this, so just please leave me out of it. :005
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Post by Nanda-grama »

Indeed, ISKCON's people use this words " fell down" automaticly when they want to tell that somebody gone out from ISKCON, stoped to follow the line of the group or done something what contradicted rules. By such way they put seal on all what demands participation of heart for it's understanding, not only repeatition what Prabhupada said. Because they fear to think and to feel ( they fear maya). But then this seal sticks to the person and all think- yes, he is fallen , forget about him. I agree with you, Harsi, that Hari "moved out" from limits and restrictions of the conception, "fell out" from the matrix.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Hari »

Interesting. A conversation has started in relation to Nanda's comments about "fall down." She said I changed ashram.

This is incorrect, I did not change ashram. I left behind entirely and completely the system within which ashram has any importance. In the real world, being married or not has little relevance to one's intellectual, political, economic or social status. Only archaic traditions that only tangentially connect with modern people consider this important. Indeed, if you look at the life styles of renunciates in ISKCON, it is easy to see how truly irrelevant ashram is.

Only someone who considers their organization, their opinions, their ideals and their values to be the most important aspect of life would think that a person who has left them has "fallen." Everyone else would say, "he left and did something else." When one is not interested in the person, not interested in their reasoning, not concerned with what they felt was important or not, one does not care to understand more than an easy and simplistic explanation of why what was done was done.

I find it interesting how people continue to "trash" me in their discussions. They take unusual pleasure in insulting me and gathering others around them who agree. They are extremely agitated when someone says something nice about me. They find it impossible to digest.

And so life goes on as it always has. "Change is impossible. Positive transformation is unthinkable. Unless one is married to the movement, one cannot have any value, importance, or capacity to be of service." I feel sorry for people who think this way and it is hard for me to be angry with them. I would rather pray for them.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by harsi »

Well, I believe it's time to call a spade a spade. Why should we continue to avoid the real issue. Just let us tell it like it is. Hari is not teaching the conclusions and the way of understanding spiritual knowledge as it was presented by Prabhupada in the spiritual tradition of the Gaidyia Vaishnava sampradaya. I do not want to judge him and the way he is presenting spiritual knowledge and his conclusions in any way. I just see it as a given fact that he has "moved away" or whatever term you may want to use here from the spiritual understanding of Prabhupada and those people within the society founded by him who try to follow in his footsteps. Now you Nanda-grama write that "Hari "moved out" from limits and restrictions of the conception, "fell out" from the matrix." I dont know what you really mean by writing "fell out" from the matrix." The word matrix reminds me personally at a Hollywood film I saw ones so I can't make anything out of it. Maybe you can explain to me what you mean by writing this.

Sure there were certain "limits and restrictions" in the way spiritual life was and is practiced in Iskcon or any other society of people. Why do you think exist so much laws and restrictions as also guidelines to follow in a society of people. I personally am of the opinion that what "limits and restrictions" anyone is following or not, is his private affair and we should protect the private sphere of anyone, even of those people who follow another path than that of ours, in another society of spiritualists, or even within Iskcon.

Now the big question remains what spiritual conclusions and concepts is Hari really teaching? To this day I have my problems in finding that out complitelly. I mean how should I understand anything about Radha Krishna who are standing on the alter by avoiding to speak about any Krishna lila or what is written in some revealed scriptures about this divine personalities?
Last edited by harsi on Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Hari »

One comment about another issue that is continuously brought up by a persistent critic of my comments on the Hare Krishna Women blog. I was asked by the blogger to answer some questions and give the history of what happened. I did that. I do not know any way to describe it other than to honestly and frankly say what happened. The critic is upset because he has assumed that my description implies that I was a victim of the GBC and he considers this ridiculous since I am such a bad person and was part of all that was bad in ISKCON. Besides the obvious fact that I was part of an enormous amount of good in ISKCON, I think he has it wrong. I did not write the history with the intention of proving I was a victim or of justifying what I did. I only felt victimized by the GBC on one occasion, when they banned the Varnashrama book, since I felt that ISKCON could only last as a society by embracing the social structure natural to its philosophy. Other than that, I did not feel victimized. The history is what it is and my description is merely meant to give my take on it as factually as I can. The history does not justify me, it merely states that I did not agree with the GBC, their policies, and many of their decisions regarding the guru issues. To disagree with the GBC, even when one stands alone on an issue, is not to be victimized. I am quite happy to have dissented as my dissent represented my convictions. Any acts I performed that were compatible to some extent with some of the values embraced by that body were done of my own free will. I may have simply agreed to go along with the majority decision or done what was required within the complex ISKCON social context, but I do not see this as a fault. Cooperation means compromise, and compromise means that life is not a one way street. I lived with compromise for a long time. Although I still compromise, I do not accept principles or ideals that are against my experience or convictions.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by harsi »

Hari wrote: The history does not justify me, it merely states that I did not agree with the GBC, their policies, and many of their decisions regarding the guru issues.
In this regard I remember an incident you were also involved from the time I was a bhakta in the Nrsimhadeva temple community in Germany. It must have been around the year 1986 or so. At that time you were the only initiating spiritual master of ISKCON in Germany and other European countries. There was a meeting among the leading Prabhupada disciples on the Nrsimha farm where one Prabhupada disciple, I think his name was Maharama das or so, confronted you and others with the wish to become himself an initiating spiritual master of ISKCON in Austria. At least it was rumored like that among us living there at that time. I still remember the lecture you gave the next morning about devotees who seek name, fame and glory for themselves although being not fully qualified for such a high spiritual position you were in at that time as the only one. It seems to me that there was also a time in ISKCON where everyone was also thinking and taking care that they do not threaten the spiritual and leadership positions they were in by allowing also others to fill some positions within that society. Actually a comprehensible attitude one might well understand.

Regarding the "fall down" issue its interesting what another group of people are writing: "In reality every “guru” in ISKCON is fallen, since they have all disobeyed Srila Prabhupada by usurping his position as the sole authorised diksa Guru (initiating spiritual master) of ISKCON"

Quite revealing is also what I read on a website where it is written:

"Yoga student: Then preaching in Iran should be essentially to those people who have fallen away from their traditional path.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Everyone is fallen. They are simply amending and concocting. That is not good. Why should they amend? (Room conversation. Tehran, 14/03/75)

In Christianity there is also the understanding of the fallen angel who has fallen from the right path. And than the understanding within Vaishnava philosophy of the fallen souls who need to become purified in order to save themselves from the ocean of birth and death.

I would say in this regard we are what we are and and so let us all join together to do the best we can out of this situation. As I was reading quite recently somewhere: "We can join together in the name of peace and freedom to build our future in the twenty-first century."
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Hari »

I will echo Prsni when I say to you Harsi, do not drag me into your version of history or any controversy included in it. Your text does not actually follow what you have quoted from me anyway!
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Hari »

Now the big question remains what spiritual conclusions and concepts is Hari really teaching? To this day I have my problems in finding that out complitelly. I mean how should I understand anything about Radha Krishna who are standing on the alter by avoiding to speak about any Krishna lila or what is written in some revealed scriptures about this divine personalities?
Wow! Really? If after all this time you cannot figure it out, why do you bother? If you are so confused, what is the use?

Why do you avoid to speak about Radha and Krishna? Do you not like them? Are you against scriptures? Very strange.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by harsi »

Hari wrote:I will echo Prsni when I say to you Harsi, do not drag me into your version of history or any controversy included in it. Your text does not actually follow what you have quoted from me anyway!
Dear Hari, actually I was just allowing my thoughts to fly freely, while expecting at the same time what others, including yourself might response to them. You immediately felt yourself in the position of having to defend yourself. Something I was not expecting of you as I also had not in mind. I beg to disagree with you that my text had nothing to do with the text I quoted. In my opinion it was also related to "decisions regarding the guru issues," in the "old days" within ISKCON. So in some way it was well related. I also did not intended to drag you into my version of history or any controversy included in it, as I have no specific version of history other than what I experienced and went through myself.

Now to your second comment where you write as a response to my expressed confusion about the goals of your teachings:
Wow! Really? If after all this time you cannot figure it out, why do you bother? If you are so confused, what is the use?
Why do you avoid to speak about Radha and Krishna? Do you not like them? Are you against scriptures? Very strange.
I thought that for someone who is teaching it is also good and advantageous to hear sometimes what feedback he gets from his audience of listeners. So in this way I gave you my honest feedback according to the motto: "Whatever comments you may have, positive or negative, are welcomed!" It seems to me that to let my thoughts flow freely was not so welcomed. Sorry for that. Maybe I should have asked you in a private message this question related to Radha Krishna. My confusion is based upon the question of how to explain to an outsider something about Radha Krishna who are standing on the alter if I base my understanding just on the lessons I might draw from your lectures and not also any revealed scriptures which might describe their pastimes in this world.

Its the same with worshiping Their Lordships on the alter, until I did not saw how their Lordships where worshiped in a morning in St Petersburg I did not knew that this is really happening. I also do not know if the deities are served with daily prasadam meals there as I did not saw this as I know it to happen in the tradition of India. So many questions which bother me since quite some time. OK Kamalamala told me that you apppreciated his printing and distribution in Russia of the Bhagavad-gita in text form without additional comments so one can say that you still vallue and apreciate Krishnas words revealed in this scripture.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Hari »

Dear Harsi

Please re-read the title of this thread. Also, please re-read the reasons I stated for its existence. The point of this thread is to give me a forum to state what actually happened to me or about me. This thread started when I saw that so many misconceptions about what happened were floating around the ether being stated as facts. My comments were addressed to these "myths."

I understand you want to expand the discussion, but as you saw once before, expanded discussions do not belong in this thread. If there are comments, they should be in the format of, "It is said that you did this or that at that time..." Then I will consider my reply, if any, in the context of clearing up misinformation.

There is so much hurt amongst devotees and former devotees. So many things happened that were clearly harmful to many people. I cannot discuss all of these events, neither can I resolve the traumas that are felt. I do not wish to discuss these kinds of topics in detail as there is no end to them. I have seen that there are as many ideas of what went wrong as there are people who feel hurt; in other words, each person feels his or her hurt in their own unique manner and wishes that hurt to be resolved in an extremely personal manner. The task of healing these wounds is enormous.

I offer my service in the healing of these many wounds through the concepts and experiences I share. I share the means to resolve these issues by understanding their root cause, their reverberating manifestations, and their lack of relation to spiritual issues. I also demonstrate how everything that one wants can be attained in an easier manner when one has cleared out these various misconceptions that are unrelated to the core essence we are as spirit. I think I do this fairly well.

Many of the wounded have decided that I am the root cause of all their problems. I cannot address issues that are not related to me as there is no use in doing so. I do not care to be placed in a position where my thoughts, decisions, or arrangements are judged in this open forum, as I do not wish to waste my energy in a futile attempt to make others feel better about themselves by wrestling their past to the ground. This is something only they can do for themselves. Everything that I share is meant to facilitate that process. As your texts tend to place me in a position where I have to speak in a manner that contradicts what I am or do, I do not wish to address them and at times I feel quite put off by their mood or tone. Perhaps you are not fully aware of the implications of what you write or question?

Your comment about not being able to understand what I am teaching is interesting and is something I am addressing right now within me. I do not want to make a list of my beliefs as what I speak about are not beliefs. I am not saying what I think as much as I am sharing my experiences. As I am sharing my experiences and my consciousness, lists and specified concepts that fit within some system are highly inappropriate as my consciousness does not accommodate these things. I am very different than the systematized philosophical theology to which you are accustomed. Indeed, I am very much free form, just like my music, and it is destructive for me to be placed in a formalized system complete with its inherent demands and expectations.

So if you seek lists and systemization, well, you know where to find them! I give you something quite different.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Nanda-grama »

Harsi wrote:
Now the big question remains what spiritual conclusions and concepts is Hari really teaching? To this day I have my problems in finding that out complitelly. I mean how should I understand anything about Radha Krishna who are standing on the alter by avoiding to speak about any Krishna lila or what is written in some revealed scriptures about this divine personalities?
I am surprised at your ability,Harsi, to listen to Hari during so many years and understand him so less!
At the past summer I had necessity to sistematize for myself what Hari told and I listened again all old lectures and did meditations and what was interestingly- although this lectures looked extemporaneous and were on different topics I found clear picture of step for step exposed knowledge which was also very practical!
I also have not some problems with what Hari doesn't retell Krishna-lilas, I know where to find it if I want to read it. Hari teachs how to perceive directly Their energy and to connect with Them-and it would be strange a little if you would stay in front of somebody and instead of association with him would read a book with describition of his lilas.
I had a talk with people from one gaudia-math and they told me that they meditaate on what how Krcishna massages Radha's feet but if I want to meditate on what how Krishna puts his head on Radha's kneels I should go to another math. I asked them- but can Krishna do that and this and something else what was not described before and can I meditate on all it at once?- and they looked at me as at an injurer :)
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Nanda-grama »

it is interestingly that the topic about Hari in Russian site хари-катха is opened again! :004 :roll: :evil: :P
http://forum.hari-katha.org/index.php?s ... ntry375485
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Hari »

Seems like some people like to hash over the past again and again. An old friend asked me to reply to some of their arguments. I did that but this last one I thought I would share as it contains some information that I think should be public. So here it is:

I hear about how I threatened the GBC. I did not threaten any individual GBC man and none of them can say so honestly. Threatening the GBC body is meaningless as it only exists as an idea or an ever changing group that meets once a year to create resolutions after long discussions and great expense, even if it is registered in Calcutta. Demanding money from the GBC at that time is utterly absurd as they had no money to demand. Why would I demand money from those who did not have it to give?

What most people do not understand, is that whatever money was gotten was obtained through a group of householders who earned it. I was a member of that group. I assisted them to use that money in a very wonderful way for the sake of ISKCON and the Mayapur Project by determining which projects would greatest benefit from funding. I did not take it for my personal gain. During my health crisis and my transformation of awareness, other persons assumed ownership of money that was neither theirs, neither theirs to determine how it was used. Besides my having nothing and barely finding a way to eat (no I was not starving), I had no control over how these funds were to be used. This was a source of agitation not only to me, but to those others who were intimate partners in the creation and use of those funds. The anger and agitation this caused was boundless. Our main purposes with these funds was to repair the damage created by the way in which children were dealt, the repression of women, families and devotees, and the creation of a comprehensive social community development project in Mayapur that would address these issues in a meaningful and practical manner to create a viable model for ISKCON. It was for this reason alone that those who worked to create the money from Non-ISKCON funds allowed me to use it for the greater good. From the start it was declared that the money was not ISKCON money although we would use it for the sake of ISKCON. Now I do understand that this declaration might be disputed as some think that any and all funds any leader or even individual creates within ISKCON belong to ISKCON (are all of you living as if all that you have belongs to ISKCON? No? Well, then you share the same mentality as those who created the funds in the first place) but that is not how we saw it and we openly stated it without opposition. Indeed, the ISKCON GBC's Minister of Finance was Naveen Krsna das at that time. During multiple meetings he attended it was frankly and clearly stated that what we gave to ISKCON projects was a donation, was conditional on it being used in certain ways, and the funds did not belong to ISKCON neither would we accept ISKCON management or decision making over them. He not only accepted this, he embraced it at that time as he also felt ISKCON was mismanaged and had its priorities all screwed up. I was upset with Naveen for many years for not defending me against all the accusations that were leveled at me for stealing until I met him many years later and he explained he left ISKCON right after I did and therefore there was no one left who knew the actual situation of the creation and management of these funds except those who desired to usurp the funds for their own purposes.

Now the important point is that I did indeed want to get back whatever money remained after a large portion of it was lost for various reasons. I will not go into the details because most of these individuals involved are still living (except the most mismanaged of them all and I do not like to speak badly about the dead), and I respect their privacy and their situations. In short, they felt that they were being cheated out of everything they had and ISKCON was using it. I find it fascinating that the rumour created in ISKCON is that I stole from it or I wanted it to give me money. In reality, quite the opposite occurred and this is the reason there was so much anger on the part of the Russians and Armenians involved. It was money they created and although they joined with me in using it for the greater good, they did not divorce themselves from it as they were minute by minute active participants in the fund.

I created a foundation to insure that the funds would be managed if I were to die or to be incapacitated. Naturally I could not have conceived of what did occur. Using what I created as an excuse to usurp the money (indeed, money rules all things in ISKCON) the managers I appointed invoked a clause that said if I did not follow the faith, I could be removed as the founder of the trust. Now I found myself trapped in a web of my own creation. This was a very difficult situation for me, but it was far more difficult for those who had lost everything due to the cheating of one (now deceased) individual who later was to be embraced by ISKCON management. Now on top of that loss, our funds were now being usurped by a group of people who had nothing to do with its creation. Although these persons who created the money were trustees on the fund, they were rapidly removed simply because they agreed with me.

Now we had a situation were real theft took place. And to deal with that real anger was used. We saw at that time that the money was going to be used in ways that we did not agree. And indeed it was. Because these new owners did not share my vision, as they are mainly managers who do not have an expanded understanding of how to benefit a lot of people with funds, they naturally used it in financially expedient ways that did not continue the ideals of the trust. Although they had not yet done this when I got angry at them, I saw that this would occur due to their personal nature and the manner in which they insulted and dealt with me. I was not only insulted, deeply insulted, but I saw that whatever was remaining would also be lost due to their choices. So I tried to change it in the only way I could at that time. Not only not successful, my anger did not represent who I am as a person and how I really feel about these individuals. After all, these leaders of the trust were people I loved deeply and trusted totally. One only gets that angry with people who you love and trust as your own family and whose betrayal of everything you worked for was unexpected, impossible to believe, and as cruel as you could imagine, or at least that is how I felt at that time. Now I see it is obvious considering their personal quality and inability to deal with others, but that is another issue. I also understand that my own sudden and unexpected transformation shocked them and therefore they struggled to find a cause. They could only understand that I was insane. I regret that neither they, nor any authority in ISKCON bothered to take the time to deeply understand the situation or what I was going through.

The manner in which the others who felt intensely cheated by a group of their own peers who they now considered as insignificant thieves, is legend. Their anger and actions are not related to me, were not invoked by me, neither were they encouraged by me. Indeed, I did not even know what they did or said and to this day I do not know the full story as I do not wish to hear it as it just increases my sadness. It is what it is. Neither I, neither those with whom those funds were created are thieves. How can you steal what is rightfully yours? Not only is there no fault in it, but since we did not succeed to get back the funds, there is also no act to discuss.

Angry words aside, look at the actions. Who took what from whom? But to determine this requires an open mind, a clear heart, and a desire. As all of these factors are missing, you all shall possibly continue to create a straw man and hang him. So be it.

I think most of you all, meaning those God Brothers and others who are still extremely upset with me, are having the most trouble with me stating what I did about Prabhupada. I think money is an excuse to rationalize your anger. So let me address that.

My reasoning and logic behind my departure is difficult for others to understand for a few reasons. As I am the only one who knew all the factors involved, I am uniquely qualified to comprehensively understand it. However rational and reasonable my point of view might be, it will seem otherwise to those who do not share my experiences and conclusion. Everyone has to determine their own truth in their own way over time. Therefore, I will avoid getting into detailed recounting of the thought process that lead me to reach the conclusion I did. I think all of you are expert at discussing the past, so my input into it would probably not enhance that exchange.

Yet there is an important point to be made here. I remember during those darker days when I decided that I could not follow any longer, Abhirama came to see me. He asked me why I felt as I did, so I told him. He said something interesting and I remember it always and it is the reason that I avoid anything that presents Prabhupada in a negative light. Indeed, anyone doing so in my forum is deleted. He said, "Even if there were faults in Prabhupada, I do not wish to hear them as it hurts my heart as all I have left is my loving memory and I want to preserve it as it is." That deeply impressed me and I always consider this when I speak.

One can go on for hours about how I do not represent Gaudiya Vaisnavism, am not a proper devotee, that I break all the basic understandings about guru and disciple, and so on. To this I reply, no contest. I do not attempt to defend myself as a devotee, even though I am a vegan who does Deity worship and probably follow more principles than a large number of Alachuans (again, only because I like to, not because I have to). I state clearly that I am not a "devotee" in the ISKCON sense of the word. I am not a follower of Prabhupada. I do not believe in the present day concept of guru at all. I think we can serve others by being mentors to them, by facilitating their growth and development, and by sharing our personal experiences and realization to assist their spiritual evolution. I do not believe in "guru" because the word has so many ancillary implications that demand far more from an individual than is advantageous for them. Again, this is my own opinion. I think so, and I am not in a closet. When it comes to sastra, that part that resonates with me is fine with me, but there are aspects of it that do not resonate with me, so I do not bother with it. I embrace the essence of bhakti. So there is little to be accomplished proving that I am not a follower as again, no contest: I am not a follower. To state that is wrong according to sadhu-sastra-guru is correct, yet who really cares? Not sure what you are trying to state here. Do you wish me to apologize? To who and for what? Are you God? Are you Prabhupada? Who would I apologize to? Those individuals who I feel I have dealt with harshly, including those who cheated me, I have expressed my feeling of sorrow for being so angry, although I do not see how it could have played out differently due to the time, place and circumstances. I have no problem with God and no problem with Prabhupada. If you wish to label me as "offensive" and "to be rejected" because of it, you are free to do so but I think that your label is incorrect and does not serve your own needs as well as you think. I seriously doubt you will influence me to change my consciousness. And why would you do so? Do you really want me back in ISKCON? Of course not! You do not like me and you did not like what I did at that time. Not sure why really, but it is so. Fine. We agree to disagree. Remember, truth drowns in an ocean of lies.

You cannot call the love I have for Prabhupada (the person, not the founder acarya) an empty sentiment. You cannot tell me about the quality of my love. I know that you will, but these are your (empty) opinions only and should be clearly stated as such. Indeed, the term "empty sentiment" is an oxymoron. A sentiment cannot be empty by definition. My sentiment towards Prabhupada is, if you are interested, deep and it is anything but empty. He was the only one who appreciated me for what I am, who engaged me accordingly, and who respected what i could do and encouraged it. He saw the me who usually hid and worked behind the scenes and he brought that person out into the forefront. I therefore gave my life for him and his service. I dedicated myself to him and our Lords. My appreciation for what he did for me in recognizing my potential and capacity and investing in me as he did will remain throughout this life. I do not regret anything I did in his service and I do not feel in any way I have lost, or wasted, or was exploited. My appreciation runs deep. That appreciation is independent of me remaining in a flawed organization filled with controversy, debate, endless disputes, and extreme negativity against me for reasons that are either born of fantasy or are motivated by others inner trauma that my life seems to awaken.

Yet, when I was faced with dealing with what ISKCON had become, I had a very hard time to understand why. It was easy to simply say that it was all our own fault, that we were bad and did not properly follow Prabhupada. It is way easier to blame me, as I am not around to defend myself, or other leaders as they are easy targets. This does not require intelligence to say. But to understand why there was such systemic abuse and exploitation of the weaker elements of society requires a much deeper look into the psyche and heart of the people within ISKCON. The real question to be addressed is why? Any man on the street can say "this is wrong, they did that, they are wrong" but none of these opinions change things in the ultimate issue. As these do not know why things went wrong, they simply elect new leaders who are equally wrong only to become frustrated again. I do not wish to get into extreme details as this would take far too long and should be the subject of a book. My conclusion, right or wrong, reached after incredible soul searching and painful recognition of facts and feelings, was that it all boiled down to the value structure that we embraced and the incredible wall of obstacles thrown up each time I tried to fundamentally change the manner in which we made decisions and created plans in ISKCON by the brahmastra of "Prabhupada Said." This phrase cancelled the attempt to use logic and reason, feeling and experience derived from the moment and the events leading to the situation needing resolution. It creates a situation where one is suddenly at odds with one's beloved guru, the Founder and Acarya of this Great Institution. When it came down to very critical junctures that required a new way of thinking and a different value structure, this super block phrase was used by some people. Due to social pressures, even though many would disagree with what he said or felt that had he been alive today he would have obviously said something else, devotees often bowed to social expectation and what was right was not done. It is kind of like being in post 9/11 USA and saying that perhaps Al Queida did not do the bombs. I myself felt that great pressure. I felt I could not change things significantly.

When I had a lot of money I could change things. It is easy to change things in ISKCON with money. You just support those areas that have value and you do not support those areas that should die away. You support people who are progressive and know how to do the right thing, and you do not support others who do not. It is rather easy. Even members of the GBC who did not usually like me, often for the wrong reasons, suddenly liked me very much and wanted to work with me when they saw I had the funds to do all kinds of interesting things. Sri Ram, bless his departed soul, who often did not like me said to me, "You know, even though I don't like many things you do, one thing I greatly respect, you never use money as a bribe to force others to change their opinions or actions." And it was so. My role was to facilitate others to become great in their own way. I liked that very much. I still like it.

I decided that I could no longer be bound by having to follow the opinion of someone else. I decided I had to ultimately do what I think is right because I could not continue following something I think is wrong and is fundamentally flawed. At that point I saw that I could not change ISKCON because ISKCON was bound to its founder, as you all point out in your texts. So I said I am no longer bound, I no longer follow, I make my own choices because I feel they are the right thing to do. This is why I am not a "devotee" who has pledged allegiance to Prabhupada in any and all circumstances regardless of my own personal feeling. I have placed my right to make my own choices based on my own conscious awareness and quality firmly in my own hands. At that time, coming to such a conclusion was equivalent to a volcano erupting. You cannot imagine what this realization did to me and the power it unleashed (for better or worse). As you cannot conceive of this, you also cannot understand how I felt and therefore my actions or words immediately afterwards seem inconceivable to you. Do I feel the same way now? Of course not. Did I feel the same way one week later? No. But my conclusions reached on that fateful day in the forest remain instilled in my consciousness as they came directly from my heart.

This was my own choice and decision and I do not insist or push anyone to share my reasoning or my conclusions. I have often said that if you wish to hate me, do so for the proper reasons, not for mythical ones. Because I separated myself from Prabhupada, the GBC freaked out and assumed that I would make a movement to take all the devotees away from ISKCON, which would mean massive financial loss. Therefore, they attacked me with all their power. They assumed that if they were to totally discredit me in all ways by turning me into this monster who was so fallen and crazy that no one in their right mind would consider following me, they would protect what they had. They thought they would preserve Prabhupada's legacy. I suppose it worked! Unfortunately, it was all over-kill as I did not wish to steal away people as I did not and still have no group or organization to steal them to. I do say that everyone should take care of themselves and make their own choices as no one else will do it as well. But that is just my opinion. I heard months later that over a thousand devotees left their places and gathered in St Petersburg, but this had nothing to do with me directly. Interestingly, all the attacking the GBC did simply created unsurmountable walls between what became two groups. The more they pummeled my reputation, the more they became hated. I think the strategy of burning straw men is not an advantageous political methodology, yet as the GBC at that time was not very mature, they took that path and I still have to deal with hate mail and strange texts now 13 years later. People in the regular society comment when they hear this is still going on, "Don't these people have lives?"

If you are a person who follows Prabhupada in all circumstances and who will quote sastra, sadhu and guru about how bad I am for not doing so, then you can save your energy. No contest. And I am not sure who you are trying to convince after all these years. Why are you still so concerned with this 13 years after my departure? How do I threaten you so that you feel you have to defend yourself? Prabhupada and Krsna do not need this defense as I do not attack them, and besides, I am a nothing compared to them, isn't it? How could I be a threat? Do you honestly think they fear me? That is silly! I am living my life, keeping to myself, sharing with those who wish to hear what I have to say, assisting others to do what they wish to do. Indeed, I have consistently given ISKCON and BBT people valuable information and perhaps insights into how to do what they do better. So why do I remain a problem for you? I find it interesting. Do you think that smashing me down more will help you rise to greater heights? That is a strange logic, but one that has historical precedent.

During my 22 years as a GBC/BBT/Guru, I certainly did some things that some people do not like, some people hate with all their heart, some people think were kind of good, some people adore, or some could care less about. This is natural. It is to be expected. I see no value in defending what I did. I see great value in making sure that what we state as facts are correct as it annoys me that fiction is now accepted as historical fact. When I can contribute to clarifying what happened from my personal experience, I do so. But defending it and speaking about it do not interest me that much. After all, everyone maintains their own opinion so long as that opinion serves them.

Hari
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harsi
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by harsi »

Dear Hari

If you anyway wanted to "bloop" Iskcon why havent you take care that everything will unfold according to your plan. As far as I know many leaders in Iskcon had also their privat bank account where they accumulated their money received from their disciples. At least I know that Suhotra Swami did it like that. Please dont be upset with me if I ask you so boldly. Why you havent gone to the USA first so that you would have been in the conutry you feel secure. I know from my time in Iskcon that many leaders cared less if someone wanted to "bloop" Iskcon or did it, often this people asked them that they should be given some money back from the money they gave to the temple, some gave quite a lot. But the leaders in Germany trusted the German wellfare state laws who will take care of those who "blooped" without any money for living in their pocket. In this way the responsability was shuffled complitelly to the German state and its social welfare.

Another thing I know from my past conversations on COM in 98 is that many people were upset that the money you used in this connection for Iskcon was made by gambling at the Moscow stock market thus bracking one of the four regulative principles, at least many understood it to have been like that.
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Re: Myths about Hari, so-called facts, and the skinny on it

Post by Hari »

What an interesting question! I never thought of it. I did not "anyway want to 'bloop'" as you stated. Indeed, the thought never crossed my mind. All that happened was entirely overwhelming and most of it was out of my control. Worrying about money, taking care of myself, or preparing for a future outside of ISKCON never entered my consciousness. All I could do was to get through each day, one after another. I had no private bank account and no personal money. All of this was managed through others. I did not sign on an account and therefore how could I have put money in one for me?

I did not go to the USA because I had no idea to go anywhere. I was simply trying to get myself together. If it was not for some wonderful souls in Russia, I would have been totally and completely lost.

I left ISKCON when I was thrown out of ISKCON. One cannot plan for the event of being thrown out when the concept is inconceivable.

The money was created by a business that dealt in financial affairs. It was created by householders and others who worked on their own. I did not directly engage in its functioning. I encouraged its creation and assisted the influx of a great amount of wealth in ISKCON by saying when stocks should be sold. They offered me money to do good in ISKCON and that is precisely what I did. I doubt you will hear complaints from those who were recipients of my charity.

ISKCON receives money all the time from people. It is absurd to conclude that all of it came from sources in line with those famous principles. ISKCON takes the money nonetheless. I do not wish to start explaining how Prabhupada got some of his money to do some of his projects as this would be needless, but let us simply say that at no time was a principle stated that one can only accept money earned in a manner consistent with regulative principles. Money comes from all kinds of sources. What one does with it determines ones personal quality and motive. To say that financial dealings are gambling is an interpolation. Nowadays, simply putting your money in a bank is gambling, or simply holding your country's currency. The value goes up and down constantly and banks fail. Giving money to your country's social insurance is gambling as they might not be able to pay it back to you in the future, as we see now happening in the US. Linking these two things sounds good in theory, but in reality it is not. Anyway, if they wish to think this way and condemn all that money that was given to ISKCON and Mayapur, they certainly may. Who can stop them? I, however, do not agree. It was what it was and it did real substantial good while it did. Much of that remains today. The Child Protection Office, the Ministry of Education, the Oxford Project, the continued existence of New Vrindavan, the French farm, the children's books, the people who started new lives, and a lot of land in Mayapur, are nothing to sneeze at. The purists should sell all of these things and give the money back to ISKCON because it was ill gotten gain?
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